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Do not be afraid. Just have faith. Mark 5:36

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Feast of St. Andrew



Happy Birthday Gayle!

Matthew 4:18-22

As Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen.
He said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
At once they left their nets and followed him. He walked along from there and saw two other brothers, James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They were in a boat, with their father Zebedee, mending their nets.
He called them, and immediately they left their boat and their father and followed him.

Today is the feast of St. Andrew. I wonder how many of us are aware even that this is a feast day celebrating Andrew the apostle the brother of St. Peter. We have a rich Christian history that has been lived over 2000 years and Andrew is one of those first called by the Lord Jesus and responded giving his life completely to His Lord. The Church calendar is filled with the names of those spiritual heroes who paved the way before us in building God's Kingdom.

We read about the call of the apostles in today's Gospel....we can pick up our Bibles and find Andrew in the beginning of John's Gospel also. We can also in our daily prayer ask Saint Andrew to intercede for us and with us to ask God's guidance and grace to lead us on the journey to holiness.

This season of Advent we join Christians everywhere in preparing ourselves for the coming of the Lord. We do it by remembering, in prayerful remembering with the gospels to guide us into the wonder of God With Us! It is a season of hope as we read the accounts in Isaiah provided for us by Mother Church to see the example of those holy men and women who hoped before us and let them teach us what to hope for. What are you hoping for? Are your hopes being driven by the God who loves you and calls you to holiness of life, or are your hopes driven by a consumer driven society?

During the Advent time we are invited to look at our lives honestly in the light of our Christian call to discipleship. Will we seek God's grace and light to help us see where we need to make corrections in our course as we journey toward life with the Divine? Likely, someone reminds you or asks you about going to Church. That is a movement toward the Lord, toward accepting His call to let Him be Lord of your life. In our Catholic belief, that is to take Him into ourselves that He may transform us and give us the Holy Spirit as guide to a HOLY life.

So often the question arises, why go to Church? I can pray anywhere. Yes, that is so but do you? Going to Church is in a way an admission I need God, and I need my brothers and sisters. Jesus did not call individuals to live in solitary ways, but brought them into a Gathering of persons called to love one another, to build a Kingdom, trusting that he would reign over them in justice, mercy, love and in peace. We go to Church because we need to raise our minds and hearts to God. We go because we NEED—not that God needs, because God needs nothing from us. Everything we are and have comes from the creator because he loves and love bestows. Can we not but come and worship in gratitude?

May God grant you and me the grace to understand a little more each day the wonder of faith.


Birthday Note

How many people do you know that retire from a great career and then start a new one hardly before the ink is dry on their discharge or retirement papers? You might expect someone with thirty-plus years of exemplary service and stellar performance in one profession to slide right into another position of equal regard and structure—and pay, let’s not forget that—and do so without so much as missing a step. Happens all the time. Good—no, great—help is difficult to find these days.

Now, think about this for a moment. What if that same person did it all as a volunteer? Yeah, that’s right—same great work, same great service, all for one low—make that NO—price. Where do we find these people you might be asking… we have one right here. And today we will be celebrating the …. anniversary of her birth.

Gayle is that angel God has on earth as evidence of His love for us. Most important to her—above all that she has been given and blessed with—is her faith and family. She shows her gratitude for those blessings by giving back to God, her family, her parish and her friends. Her daughters, son-in-law and grandchildren are God’s gifts for her and she cherishes them all, being there for them and even doing the hardest thing a mother and grandmother can do—giving them that ‘space’ when they need it. Tough to do and tougher to take sometimes. That is her love for them.

And she is more than just a ‘church lady’ as her appreciation and expertise extends well beyond the parish—this community organization, that credit union board, this other civic group… always finding time to give without care for the cost. If heaven has a volunteer section, whenever God’s calls her home, I would think He would be calling on Gayle to help out just as He has here. (Let’s pray that call is some years down the road... way down there.)

Young in heart and young in spirit, Gayle is truly an example of what God intends for us to be as disciples—people putting faith into action. Countless hours on numerous councils, coordinating programs, facilitating weekend presentations and renewals-these are just some of the many ways she helps fill our hearts with the love God has for us. That is the way she lives. And our lives are better for her living in His Way.

Thank you Gayle, for all you are and do. May God continue to bless you and all you hold dear.

Luke 6:38

Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.



Romans 12:9-12

Let love be sincere; hate what is evil, hold on to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; anticipate one another in showing honor.

Do not grow slack in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.

Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer.

I have learned not to put a stopwatch to what God has planned for me. A couple of things happen when I presume such folly: one, He doesn’t give me time to prepare for whatever it is that I set that timer, or two, the fact that I even put a timer on Him is ludicrous enough and with His infinite grace, He will let me see the errors of my ways—infinitely, or so it seems. And that is a very long time for a prayer to be answered.

This may sound like some practices you may have heard others try with their prayer life. And with today’s world of ‘instancy’, it would be no small wonder why more of us are not looking for quicker answers, if not quicker relief. Yet what if it were not so? What if… it might be that we are not any less impatient; it might be that the world around us is just getting faster. So much faster that we sometimes want to yell out to whoever is listening ‘Hey, can you slow this thing down enough for me to jump off for a while?’

Whoever that would be listening is our God. And He is always listening. And always answering. We are the ones who are shutting down, looking for the quick answers before we give Him the time to respond. Let me rephrase that—before we give Him His time to respond. Until then, we continue to do all we can, we lift our hearts up in prayer, we seek the guidance of others, of our confessors and we still wonder at His power and mystery. And stay strong.

He knows the depth of our love in our hearts. He knows the path we are on. Let us all be certain that His Will is our way and that His Way should be our will.

Romans 14:7-8

None of us lives for oneself, and no one dies for oneself.

For if we live, we live for the Lord, and if we die, we die for the Lord; so then, whether we live or die, we are the Lord's.

First Sunday of Advent





A babe in a manger will signal once again the wonder of God with Us. Come Lord Jesus, the ancient cry "Marana Tha"! We have that time of looking within seeking joyfully to examine our course and make the corrections needed to keep us moving toward the fulfillment of the kingdom.

What is your advent plan? As you look ahead, what is your schedule for spending time with the Lord to deepen the love relationship you have and to prepare heart for that celebration of love that brought God into our midst as a tiny baby? As we go through all the preparations society presses on us in the consumer world, can we take some time to focus on the creator of all and come to a deeper understanding of the tremendous love and mercy that he pours out into our lives?

Catholic families-all familie-why not make an effort this advent to share meals together as frequently as possible and to have conversations that center on the Lord of Lords and what he has done in our lives? Perhaps a simple start would be to share with one another some realizations of the blessings that come each day. Even to explain that the gift of life calls for prayer filled gratitude. Ponder together what gifts God has given and perhaps how he would hope we used them to be His presence among men and women.

Sometimes we get angry with God because He doesn't answer our prayers, so it seems. Like little children we throw tantrums or sometimes even run away from home to do things we want to do ignoring God, even though He continues to love and give us life and breath each day. As we discover the wonders of world, of universe, we sometimes are so self-centered as to believe that through our discoveries we create wonders rather that realize that God continues to care for us. As we discover new and wonderful ways to improve life it seems we need also to examine how we use new technologies and new wonders to improve the living of all.

How...we must be grateful and examine in truth each of us how to contribute to the good of all. The gifts God has endowed you and me with are for the benefit of the other....Love demands we see in all others that image in which we were created.

May we not be distracted from planning a daily moment of resting in the Lord throughout this Advent season.





2 Timothy 3:14-17

But you, remain faithful to what you have learned and believed, because you know from whom you learned it, and that from infancy you have known the sacred scriptures, which are capable of giving you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that one who belongs to God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

Virtually everything we have come to know, we have learned from someone else. Oh there are those things we have to find out on our own—even if we’ve been told not to walk down dark alleys alone, not to touch the red burners on the stove, or pet a snarling dog, many of us have to do it just to see if we can get to the other end unscathed, not get burned or get away without getting bit. Some of us make it through without a scratch or even a blister, some make it but just a little bit worse for wear and tear and yet others… well, God helps those who lack even a modicum of insight and wisdom.

There is much to be said for experience and the wisdom that comes from it. Even if we get it from someone else. Not everyone understands lessons in the same way. That is why scripture is shared in so many different ways and with so many different instructors—the Holy Spirit, disciples, angels, witnessers, the neighbor next door, even the guy standing on the corner with the sign ‘will work for food’. Sometimes we get it one way, sometimes we don't. One way or another though, the message is eventually made clear.

Training in righteousness. The path to salvation runs through it. God will prepare us in the way He knows how we best need to be prepared. We may not appreciate His method. We may not care for the homework that goes with lesson. Yet He will do what it takes to make us His. As Advent breaks upon us this weekend, let us embrace the wisdom and wonder that we find in the season and in the glory of God’s Word.

Romans 12:2

Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.



Ephesians 4:30-32

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were sealed for the day of redemption. All bitterness, fury, anger, shouting, and reviling must be removed from you, along with all malice.

And be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ.

Someone else is getting all the breaks.

You can’t seem to get anything of substance done—at least on your scale of priorities—at work or at home.

Relationships—friend and family alike—seem to be more than strained, even non-communicative as of late.

Your body aches, the muscles are tight, the headaches are pounding.

How is that working for you, that carrying around the bitterness and anger and woe-is-me-ain’t-it-awful-nobody-understands-me stuff? Admit it. We all have a satchel of it somewhere, if not a full-sized trunk load, we choose to pick up as baggage, if not unnecessary stinking, gagging, putrid, garbage.

Someone hurt you or something happened to you, or you allowed someone to hurt you or something to happen to you that put you into a tailspin. Maybe you’re even mad at God for the choices He has given you to live with—choices of life and death, love and hate, joy and sorrow... or just the trials and pains of everyday life.

Instead of allowing God and earnest prayer to be a part of the solution, we pack that pain away into a trunk of bitterness, and if we’re not careful, we find ourselves in a bout of depression. Our simple act of not doing anything to help ourselves in itself is a choice. Like it or not, we still have other choices to make, choices of our free will, that can make a difference. Those choices that we can begin to make as we pray for His help and guidance. Free will is nothing new. Nothing we haven't known about. With it, we just made different choices when others would have worked better.

And those 'other' choices, they can begin with forgiveness. Allowing God to forgive us. Allowing forgiveness for ourselves from ourselves. And allowing forgiveness of others. Letting it go. Unpacking it. Emptying the satchel… or the trunk. Oh it may take some time to empty the contents but to start is better than to not. And as you do, think of all the wonderful things God has planned for you with which to fill it.

Jeremiah 29:11-14

For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the LORD, plans for your welfare, not for woe! Plans to give you a future full of hope.

When you call me, when you go to pray to me, I will listen to you.

When you look for me, you will find me. Yes, when you seek me with all your heart, you will find me with you, says the LORD, and I will change your lot



Happy Thanksgiving!



Live well

All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching,

for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

so that one who belongs to God may be competent,

equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:16-17



Laugh often

Although you have not seen Him you love Him;

even though you do not see Him now yet believe in Him,

you rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy,

as you attain the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

1 Peter 1:8-9



Love much

And over all these put on love, that is,

the bond of perfection.

And let the peace of Christ control your hearts,

the peace into which you were also called in one body.

And be thankful.

Colossians 3:14-15





"I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower. He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and everyone that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit. You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you.

Remain in me, as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me.

I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me will be thrown out like a branch and wither; people will gather them and throw them into a fire and they will be burned.

If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you. By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples. As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love.

If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and remain in his love.

"I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.

This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends.

You are my friends if you do what I command you.

I am the vine, you are the branches.

We all can agree that we are the branches. As branches, and with our faith, we are rooted in His Love. He has chosen us to be His. We respond to Him by the choices we make in return. As branches, the branch or plant cannot grow or produce much good on its own-without good soil, water, a good root structure, room to grow, or nurturing. All of these lead to development and the propensity to do what it is that it we are supposed to do.

Without our faith as our foundation and soil; without the waters of our Baptism to cleanse us and help keep us free from sin; without the hundreds and thousands of years of tradition and the Tradition of the Church as our structure; without the kingdom we have here on earth and His community of churches giving us room to grow; without the community of saints here with us to nurture us and guide us—we could not remain in Him. At the least, life would be extremely difficult.

Let us keep ourselves among the branches-those branches that we know and love as our friends. Of them, there is none greater than the One who laid down His life for us. As the season of Advent nears, let us all keep in mind the joy we find in the fullness of His Love for us and for one another. That is what He has commanded us to do.

This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.

No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends.

You are my friends if you do what I command you.


1 Timothy 1:15-17

This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Of these I am the foremost.

But for that reason I was mercifully treated, so that in me, as the foremost, Christ Jesus might display all his patience as an example for those who would come to believe in him for everlasting life.

To the king of ages, incorruptible, invisible, the only God, honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

If you had any doubt about yourself and those things and choices in your life that go bump and/or bad, read what Paul has to say about himself and the patience and mercy that Christ Jesus has in him and for him. The same can be said for you and me.

Every gift of a new day we have, we are challenged with the barriers that will happen to keep us from living the life God has planned for us. Some of those barriers we bring about because of our most immediate choices. Some are there, it seems, in spite of them. The fact is, how we live and what live are defined by the choices we make. We either choose to live with truth and follow Him or we do otherwise. Simple.

The good thing about it when we do the otherwise is that God has infinite patience with us. As He did with Paul, He does with us: He has called us all to do His will. Through his humility, Paul found out ‘soon enough’ and learned of his salvation. We are afforded the same luxury today as we give thanks and praise to the One who is patient and merciful with us.

To the king of ages, incorruptible, invisible, the only God, honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.



Luke 21:1-4

When Jesus looked up he saw some wealthy people putting their offerings into the treasury and he noticed a poor widow putting in two small coins. He said, “I tell you truly, this poor widow put in more than all the rest; for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood.”

What are you giving to God today? And how are you giving it? Is it with a bit of fanfare and flare to say “Look at me while I drop my left-over change into the Salvation Army bucket”? Or are you the one who takes from your first-fruits and gives without counting the cost-this is for God first, not for me.

Then is your giving of yourself from within-your authentic self-or is it the superficial sort who gets in line with the others just because someone saw it on Oprah and she said it was cool and now it’s the rage and blah, blah, blah… soon it won’t be and it will be gone and then what will you have? Not too much of the real self left, but enough of it to start back toward that authentic person you can be.

My wife is reading a book ‘What Difference Do it Make?’, the follow up to the bestseller ‘Same Kind of Different as Me’. In it, she told me about Denver, the man whom the book is about. He and his friend Ron were discussing fishing and how some people would fish to ‘catch and release’ while others would fish to ‘catch and eat’. Denver’s thought on that was that if his friend Ron was a catch and release sort of friend, a friend that would only serve a purpose for awhile, he didn’t need him for a friend. But if he was a true friend, one that would ‘catch and stay and eat with’, then they could and would be friends.

Beyond our friendships, and may they all be true 'keepers', what if our giving was like fishing-a catch and release sort of deal? If we looked at what God has given us as our catch, how much of it are we willing to let go of-to release back to Him? If it’s all His to begin with anyway, what difference do it make then to hold onto that extra coin, dollar or ten? Give it up to the One who gave it all for us. A livelihood beyond this world is waiting for us.



Happy Birthday Kate!

1 Corinthians 6:17-20

But whoever is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Avoid immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the immoral person sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?

Almighty God,

In whom we live and have our being,

You havemade us for Yourself,

So that our hearts are restless

Until they find rest in You.

Grant us purity of heart and strength of purpose,

That no selfish passion may hinder us

From knowing Your will,

No weakness from doing it.

But that in Your light we may see light,

And in Your service find perfect freedom.

Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

'St. Augustine



Luke 20:27-40

Some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection, came forward and put this question to Jesus, saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us, If someone’s brother dies leaving a wife but no child, his brother must take the wife and raise up descendants for his brother.
Now there were seven brothers; the first married a woman but died childless. Then the second and the third married her, and likewise all the seven died childless. Finally the woman also died. Now at the resurrection whose wife will that woman be? For all seven had been married to her.”
Jesus said to them, “The children of this age marry and remarry; but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age and to the resurrection of the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. They can no longer die, for they are like angels; and they are the children of God because they are the ones who will rise.
That the dead will rise even Moses made known in the passage about the bush, when he called ‘Lord’ the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob;and he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.”
Some of the scribes said in reply, “Teacher, you have answered well.” And they no longer dared to ask him anything.

In their constant search for ways to better serve the faithful, the Catholic Church has thought about instituting a new reconciliation approach—the elevator-car confessional. True story. Though still in the planning stages, the thought is that as the penitent is seeking forgiveness, the priest decides that if it was a good and heart-felt contrition, they go up toward heaven. If not, well… the answer, at least the Church would hope, would be obvious.

This is not a true story by any stretch of one’s imagination. Yet compared to what the Sadducees believed, their lives were bound to earth because of their limited faith. They saw only what they could and wanted to see here, not what was offered to them beyond in heaven. Not that we ever get that way… much.

Sometimes like the Sadducees, we too limit ourselves—and in so doing, limit God—and the power of our faith and prayer. Though we live in God’s kingdom now, we are only here for awhile, putting ourselves on a path toward that time and place He has prepared for us. As He is a God of the living, we live so that we may share in that eternal life with Him.

Though the Sadducees were not quite clear on that concept, and for sure we may not fully grasp God’s unending grace and mercy ourselves, we have it good authority that our salvation is promised to us for those who love Him.

That is a concept we can all grasp.



Revelation 10:8-11

I, John, heard a voice from heaven speak to me. Then the voice spoke to me and said: “Go, take the scroll that lies open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.”
So I went up to the angel and told him to give me the small scroll. He said to me, “Take and swallow it.It will turn your stomach sour, but in your mouth it will taste as sweet as honey.”
I took the small scroll from the angel’s hand and swallowed it. In my mouth it was like sweet honey, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour.
Then someone said to me, “You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings.”

Kind of sounds like going to the doctor, doesn’t it? Sometimes the cure is worse than the disease. The pills that are taken don’t settle well in the stomach. They were easy going down, but the after effects were killer.

It’s tempting to ignore the doctor and choose to just live with the disease. All too often, that choice leads to worse consequences; more sickness, more pills that don’t settle well, more painful treatments that could have been avoided.

So why do we do it? Why do we choose more pain down the road for a temporary feeling of being okay for the moment? To avoid that temporary feeling of yuckiness?Why should we do it? Why should we endure the pain of the treatment or the bad taste in the mouth or the sour stomach from the medicine we’re given?

I think the answer is in the final outcome. So that we can live life as fully as possible and be around as long as possible for those we love and who love us. So that once we get through with the treatments and the sour pills, our quality of life will be improved.

So too are the spiritual cures and treatments that God sends our way. If we run from the sour pill that God asks us to take on occasion, we endure further spiritual sickness that affects everyone around us. We must be brave and swallow those pills. We must trust that God knows what’s best for us and realize that He promises something so much better after we follow His prescription for us.


Psalm 119:103

How sweet to my palate are your promises, sweeter than honey to my mouth!



Three Things

I know three things must always be.
To keep a nation strong and free.

One is a hearthstone bright and dear,

With busy, happy loved ones near.

One is a ready heart and hand

To love, and serve, and keep the land.

One is a worn and beaten way
To where the people go to pray.

So long as these are kept alive,
Nation and people will survive.

God keep them always, everywhere-
The home, the heart, the place of prayer.

Author Unknown

How "worn and beaten" are our own paths to our places of prayer?

Life is fragile; handle with prayer.
E.C. McKenzie



Luke 19:1-10

At that time Jesus came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town. Now a man there named Zacchaeus, who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man, was seeking to see who Jesus was; but he could not see him because of the crowd, for he was short in stature. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus, who was about to pass that way.
When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said, “Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house.”
And he came down quickly and received him with joy. When they saw this, they began to grumble, saying, “He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner.”
But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over.”
And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost.”

In yesterday’s Gospel account, we again meet Zacchaeus. I can in my mind’s eye just picture this little man in his luxurious clothes climbing a Eucalyptus tree to catch a glimpse of Jesus whom he has heard so much about. Then to his amazement Jesus is near and looks up at him, "Come down quickly Zacchaeus I am coming to your house today."

Can't you just see him scramble down the tree, perhaps even stumbling jumping to quickly be in the Lord's presence. Perhaps he even found it difficult to imagine that Jesus was even paying attention to him. Then he says it all, "I am sorry, I repent. I will pay back and more all I have taken. I will follow you."

We have the same opportunity when the Lord touches our lives. Imagine each time we go to Eucharist we receive Him body and blood, soul and divinity into our very being. We can in those silent moments after communion, speak to Him in faith as surely as Zacchaeus and the apostles did.

Faith leads us to this union. What is it you desire? The Lord Jesus longs to fill your desires to do the Father's will and follow the Way, the Truth and enter into eternal life. Today you have an opportunity to love. Be not afraid to make Jesus the center of your life.

Holiness is possible and can be achieved because God's grace is sufficient. Pray.

Holy Spirit let the wind of love move me always.




1 Peter 1:4-9

…an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you who by the power of God are safeguarded through faith, to a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the final time. In this you rejoice, although now for a little while you may have to suffer through various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold that is perishable even though tested by fire, may prove to be for praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Although you have not seen him you love him; even though you do not see him now yet believe in him, you rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, as you attain the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

When things go bad as they sometimes do with our material goods—cars, appliances, computers, etc.—we look at the fine print and the guarantees we have for them to see what recourse we have at getting them repaired. Is this item covered, does the warranty cover all the parts, how long is the coverage good for—all these questions come to mind as we deal with the issue at hand of getting fixed whatever needs to get fixed. Not to mention the phone calls to make, dealing with less than the fully knowledgeable (or so we think), the time it takes shipping the item back, and on it goes. It seems like it all starts to fall apart shortly after the newness wears off.

Not so with what God has promised for us, with the newness of life He has for us. Every day. Unfading. There for our asking is our salvation. Trials? Yes, they are there for us to bring us even closer to His likeness. Suffering? As did His Son, so shall we endure through our own pain. It will then be that we will see our faith become even greater—more genuine, more precious.

His mercy and love will endure forever. Our faith will keep us in His grace as long we believe and follow in His ways. His promise is far better than anything this world can guarantee for us.



Luke 18:35-43

As Jesus approached Jericho a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging, and hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what was happening. They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.”
He shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!”
The people walking in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent, but he kept calling out all the more,
“Son of David, have pity on me!”
Then Jesus stopped and ordered that he be brought to him; and when he came near, Jesus asked him,
“What do you want me to do for you?”
He replied, “Lord, please let me see.”
Jesus told him, “Have sight; your faith has saved you.”
He immediately received his sight and followed him, giving glory to God. When they saw this, all the people gave praise to God.

Today we remember Albert the Great who died in 1280. One of the great teachers in the Church. We seek his prayers for us as we strive to grow in wisdom and understanding of the great mysteries of our Faith.

Today's Gospel has us meeting the Lord again on his journey through Jericho. Crowds are lined up to acknowledge his passing by, to see him, to hear him. In the crown is a blind man who hears the commotion and realizing it is Jesus, cries out, "Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!" It seems he was annoying those around him who were insisting he be still... but he persisted and continued crying out loudly... Son of David, have pity on me. He knew in faith Jesus would hear his plea and truly Jesus called him to himself and asked, "What do you want me to do for you" "Lord, I want to see."
His faith brought the desired response, Jesus restored his sight and he followed him.

What is our deepest desire this day? Jesus is asking us ‘What graces do you desire? What are your desires?’

Do we long to follow Him? Do we want to see?

Sin too often blinds us to the wonders that surround us. Sin that creates in us false idols that lead to desires and actions that are not in accord with God's deign. Our focus in life may often be too centered on the self. We should want to be like God. Are we so different from Adam and Eve who desired to be "like" God?

For some of us we have a wonderful gift of being able to celebrate Eucharist every day. Our prayers our offering of the sacrifice of the Lamb of God is for the entire Body of Christ those who because of responsibilities of life cannot participate in these daily celebrations. We stand with Our Lord and bring their prayers with us.

However, all of us can set time for God, and enter into spiritual communion with the Lord. We can converse with him, worship him and give him our lives asking him to enter into our hearts, to guide us in all our ways. Monday is a chance to reflect on JOY as the fruit of the Spirit. Throughout the week we can reflect on the fruits of the Holy Spirit, Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Goodness and kindness, trust, and gentleness. Do we see these fruits as a result of our response to Jesus Christ as we seek to live as His disciple, modeling his life in our actions?

Lord, your presence in our lives is the source of Joy. Even in difficult times Jesus, you are always with me. In those times when I say, ‘I can do it myself’, forgive me in my stubborn attitude and grant me grace to walk humbly and trusting to do the Father's will. Help me keep my heart pure and open to your prompting.

May each breath I take be a constant prayer: Jesus, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me a sinner.




The Right Words

Lord, give me the right words to say
To broken hearts that come my way
To those who have been hurt before
That, I not hurt them any more

To those whose hearts have hardened up
To those who won't hold out their cup
That, Lord, You long to overflow
With love and mercy. Lord, let me know

That I might have the words to say
That I might plant a seed today
That glory would be given to You
Through all I say and all I do

Lord, give me the right words to say
More hearts are breaking every day
They're out there crying in the night
I long to help them see the light

But, fragile are those souls and weak
So this is why Your words I seek
And pray Thee give me words to say
That I, not one soul, turn away.

~by Susan Tier~

Submitted by RVossler



Luke 18:1-8

Jesus told his disciples a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary. He said, “There was a judge in a certain town who neither feared God nor respected any human being. And a widow in that town used to come to him and say,
‘Render a just decision for me against my adversary.’
For a long time the judge was unwilling, but eventually he thought, ‘While it is true that I neither fear God nor respect any human being, because this widow keeps bothering me I shall deliver a just decision for her lest she finally come and strike me.’”
The Lord said, “Pay attention to what the dishonest judge says. Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night? Will he be slow to answer them?
I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

Pray with an expectant attitude of faith.


Press on with confidence and trust.

Who would expect the widow to win out over the ruthless and deceitful judge? Who would expect the seas to part when there was nowhere to go but through the waters? Who would expect a son to be born to a woman well past her child-bearing age? Who would expect the thousands to be fed with just a handful of loaves and fish? Manna from heaven? The lame to walk, the blind to see?

Who would expect that God would send His only Son to save us from our own sinful ways?

As a more recent story goes, it’s easy to lose sight of your initial objective of draining the swamp when you’re up to your neck in alligators. When things of the world take a stronger hold on us than our spiritual life—and they will do this to us all—we are given an opportunity to renew our faith in what God has planned for us. Our lives will be filled with injustices, grief, trials and more adversity than what we think we may not be able to handle. God knows that. He is here for us at our asking, with hope and confidence—alive and present with us.

Our faith is our gift from God. Through hope, prayer, scripture and grace our faith can grow. Onward and upward, we will share in His love for us all.



Luke 17:26-37

As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of man. They ate, they drank, they married, they were given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise as it was in the days of Lot they ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built, but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom fire and sulphur rained from heaven and destroyed them all -- so will it be on the day when the Son of man is revealed.

On that day, let him who is on the housetop, with his goods in the house, not come down to take them away; and likewise let him who is in the field not turn back. Remember Lot's wife.

Whoever seeks to gain his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will preserve it. I tell you, in that night there will be two in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. There will be two women grinding together; one will be taken and the other left." And they said to him, "Where, Lord?" He said to them, "Where the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together."

Not quite clear on the concept… Porch light on-nobody home… More than just a few yards short of a first down… Missed the boat and the loading dock… phrases that indicate someone (that someone even like ourselves) has not understood a message that has been delivered.

When we communicate with each other, it is good—very good—to clarify the intent of messages being delivered. Especially in the written word because there is much to be lost in the translation without the benefit of facial expression, tone, volume and other body language associated with live communication.

When reading scripture, it is also good that we seek clarification on things we don’t understand. And for me, there is much that I don’t know yet hope to find out someday beyond this life. Until then, there are those who will help clarify and bring light to what would otherwise remain puzzling or in the dark. Yet sometimes the message rings clear and true with little need for clarification. God’s message is what it is. This Gospel passage is filled with references and similar messages.

Noah and the Ark: not to make light or poke fun at those left behind, but they figuratively and literally missed the boat with their choice to remain in the state they were in. Even with Noah’s insistence and warning, they were not quite clear on the concept. ‘Uh, I don’t think the bad stuff is gonna be here for awhile… let’s party on guys!’ The same with the directions given to Lot’s wife—whatever you do, don’t look back. Just don’t do it. Got it? Wait, she did what? How clear could the message have been?

How clear can our message be?

Whoever seeks to gain his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will preserve it.

Don’t miss the boat.


Happy Birthday Eric!

Happy Birth Day Jacob Ho!



John 14:23-27

Jesus answered him, "Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me. "I have said these things to you while I am still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.”

For all of those who serve, have served, and those who have served us with their ultimate sacrifice, let us not forget.

and all those who have served and come home to us...
and for Bowe Bergdahl, POW, and all others MIA...

... That on the 11th hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month, the Guns on the Western Front fell silent after four long years of brutal conflict.

Let us never forget the Dead in Flanders Fields;

Let us never forget the Dead at Pearl Harbor, Normandy, Bastogne, Okinawa, or a hundred other battlefields;
Let us never forget the Dead of Chosin or Pusan;
Let us never forget the Dead of Da Nang, Saigon, or Hue;
Let us never forget the Dead of Panama or Grenada;
Let us never forget the Dead of Khafji, Baghdad, Kandahar;
Let us never forget the Dead of 9/11;
Let us never forget the Dead of Valley Forge, Bunker Hill, Concord
Let us never forget the Dead of Champlain;
Let us never forget the Dead of Vicksburg, Antietam, Gettysburg, Shilo, Andersonville;
Let us never forget the Dead of San Juan Hill or the Maine;
Let us never forget our Honored Dead;

Let us never forget our Honored Veterans, many of whom are still suffering the 'slings and arrows of outrageous fortune', many years after their service, in Peace or War;
Let us never forget those who willingly and gladly Serve, seeking no fame, no glory, no fortune, no power; seeking nothing but the respect of their fellows;

Thank them in your Prayers, thank them in person: Never forget

Let us always remember Lincoln at Gettysburg:
'...It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth'

Let us never forget

submitted by ahawkins



Philippians 3:20-21

But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we also await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will change our lowly body to conform with his glorified body by the power that enables him also to bring all things into subjection to himself.

There are many ways we can be transformed along our journey. We pray for those experiences that lead us to and through the growth in our faith and grace to see us through the tribulations that further bring us closer to our salvation. Yes, we do know that our citizenship is in heaven—that is our purpose to live in such a way that people will see that in us—to know that we are bound for greater things than what is here on earth.

Therein lies the challenge: living a life that puts us on a path toward that faith and holiness. To do that means a constant awareness of what we truly believe and an equally vigilant attitude how we live it. That will be our transformation, our daily movement toward that holiness we seek. We may have those days where we find ourselves in a ‘two-steps forward and three steps back’ sort of rut but with a life centered on Jesus Christ, surrounded with daily and frequent prayer, the steps will be easier to take forward without the fear of losing ground.



John 2:13-22

Since the Passover of the Jews was near, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. He found in the temple area those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves, as well as the money-changers seated there.
He made a whip out of cords and drove them all out of the temple area, with the sheep and oxen, and spilled the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables, and to those who sold doves he said,
“Take these out of here, and stop making my Father’s house a marketplace.”
His disciples recalled the words of Scripture, Zeal for your house will consume me.
At this the Jews answered and said to him, “What sign can you show us for doing this?”
Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.”
The Jews said, “This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and you will raise it up in three days?”
But he was speaking about the temple of his Body. Therefore, when he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they came to believe the Scripture and the word Jesus had spoken.

This morning I am reminded by a brother in Christ to avoid being negative. We are blessed to have angels to see clearly when we are failing to place our faith on the line.

Today is the feast of Saint John Lateran, the centuries old Basilica at Rome. Since the days of Constantine we have celebrated this feast on this date. Why a feast concerning a Basilica? It is the see of Rome and the symbol of the universal Church. The reminder of who we are as one body of Christ, as temples of the Holy Spirit.

Today's Gospel is a reminder to reflect on what Jesus said about his own body being a Temple, and we remember He told us that He would rise and He did so to our great joy.

But as we reflect on this gospel we can reflect on our own call to be a temple. Individually temples of the Holy Spirit and also as the body of Christ the Church; the one temple shining the light of Christ to the World in which we live and move. As you meet the challenges of the day, know that you are His witness with open mind, heart, and soul seek his grace to know and experience in the events of the day He is present with you, in you.

Praise Him.


For the Repose of the Soul of Matt Mercer

We pray to the LORD



This month we are especially aware and attuned to praying for those who have preceded us in our journeys of faith. The communion of saints, all the saints, those who travel the road of faith with us, those waiting to enter into glory and behold God face to face, and those Saints who are gathered around the throne of the Lamb. Each day we are created anew and are with each breath receiving from the creator gifts of which we are not even aware. We speak of the gifts of the Holy Spirit but I fear too often we are placing these gifts in some hidden corner of our lives and they remain unused and unappreciated.

This is a month for remembering; remembering to pray for those loved ones who opened themselves to God's creation of new life. I stand in wonder before God who creates from love beyond human understanding, who creates new life in circumstances that make us ask why. Created in God's image we too often choose to live in worship of what he has created rather that love and adore the creator.

This past weekend thirty plus women gathered to meet the Christ as they came together to experience RENEWAL. They met the Lord in Eucharist, in each other, in an experience of God With Us. What happened to each is known to them alone and the God who embraced them. For all of us who have these moments, these opportunities, the fruit of our meeting Christ will be the effect on our living. We have all been called by name to be God's image in the mosaic of life.

Each of us a small tile in the glorious revelation of God, the beautiful icon of colors that excel all beauty. What color are you in the mosaic of life? When we fail to live God's plan and design the picture is incomplete as a mosaic with missing tiles. May Jesus hold us close and guide us on the path of life as we fulfill our task of kingdom building.

Pray for one another! Especially for families, that husbands and wives may always grow in their love for each other being icons of God's love for all.




Philippians 4:10-14

Brothers and sisters:
I rejoice greatly in the Lord that now at last you revived your concern for me. You were, of course, concerned about me but lacked an opportunity.
Not that I say this because of need, for I have learned, in whatever situation I find myself, to be self-sufficient. I know indeed how to live in humble circumstances; I know also how to live with abundance.
In every circumstance and in all things I have learned the secret of being well fed and of going hungry, of living in abundance and of being in need.
I have the strength for everything through him who empowers me.
Still, it was kind of you to share in my distress.

We can do what we need to do with God alone. We don’t necessarily need someone else to take the journey with us. But, it really helps to know that someone else cares; that someone else is listening and paying attention and offering to share in our distress.

It doesn’t have to be a huge sacrifice to share in someone’s distress. Sometimes, just a word of encouragement or a word of prayer is enough.Sometimes, it is a matter of sitting to listen without saying a word. Sometimes, it is sharing in the abundance of what God has given us by way of food, clothes, money, or a ride across town.

It’s easy to lack an opportunity to share in someone’s distress with as busy as we all get.It’s okay, because if you can’t, God can.




Eternal Word,

Only begotten Son of God,

Teach me true generosity.

Teach me to serve You as You deserve.

To give without counting the cost,

To fight heedless of wounds,

To labor without seeking rest,

To sacrifice myself without thought of any reward

Save the knowledge that I have done Your will.


As attributed to St. Ignatius Loyola



Acts 1:10-11

While they were looking intently at the sky as he was going, suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them.

They said, "Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky? This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven."

There is a story that has been around about a family spending a day at the beach. As a mother was taking in the enjoyment and sun, her young son came running up with excitement, saying, ‘Mom, Jesus is coming, Jesus is coming!’

The mom was a bit startled until she looked and saw her son pointing to a plane circling with a banner proclaiming what her son had shared with her. What he asked next caught her a bit off guard but she recovered quickly as he asked, ‘So Mom, when’s He coming?’

‘The Bible says He will come when we least expect Him,’ she replied.

As her son took in the crowd and thought about what his mother had offered, he had another question for her: ‘So Mom, do you think we’re all ready for Him?’

Well, are we? Are we really putting ourselves on a journey that leads us closer to Him? Or are we standing by, waiting for the next ‘great thing’ to come along and jump on that bandwagon? Are we going with the crowd and just taking what the world offers us? Are we just a passer-by, looking at what just went on in front of us-God's beauty and wonder of life-and wondering what the fuss is all about? I think not.

He has called us all to ‘get ready’ and He will do what it takes to make us that way. So, buckle up. Put on His armor. Stand at the gap to fight for what you truly believe. Be alive in Him and be ready for Him.

Matthew 4:18-20

As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him.



Hebrews 13:7-9

Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you; consider how their lives ended, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teaching.

If you would want to learn to do something right or even better, you would probably look for someone to model yourself after, someone who does very well what you are looking to improve upon. It makes sense, right? If you want to be a better writer, read and look at the works of those who you most admire. If you are looking to become more adept at a particular artistic skill—oil painting, sculpting, drawing—you would go to those that have skills that are more than average. Sports, athletics? Find the ones that have excelled and do what they do to get where they are.

If you were to find that your life was not where you wanted it spiritually, (and really, are any of us ever-ever-satisfied?), where would you go? Are there people in your life that you can go to that would help you get to where you want to go? Do you have what it takes to get there if they are ready to get you started? Our lives are peppered with those particular people who are there for us to bring us along when we are ready to move closer to God. We may not recognize them right away, they may not recognize their own gifts immediately either but they are there.

From beginning to end, our lives are shared with the highs and lows of those who know more and know less. Of those who have and have not. Of those who believe and those who are lost. The challenge we get out of all this is learning from what they all have to offer. ‘Imitate their faith’ of those who are the light of God’s grace. Run from those of ‘strange teaching’. Know that there is no doubt, He is the same—Yesterday. Today. Now and Forever. Amen.



The Canticle of Zechariah

Blessed be the Lord,
The God of Israel;
He has come to His people and set them free.

He has raised up for us a mighty Savior,
Born of the house of His servant David.

Through His holy prophets He promised of old
That He would save us from our enemies,
From the hands of all who hate us.

He promised to show mercy to our fathers
And to remember His holy Covenant.

This was the oath He swore to our father Abraham:
To set us free from the hands of our enemies,
Free to worship Him without fear,
Holy and righteous in His sight
All the days of our life.

You, My child shall be called
The prophet of the Most High,
For you will go before the Lord to prepare His way,
To give his people knowledge of salvation
By the forgiveness of their sins.

In the tender compassion of our Lord
The dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness
And the shadow of death,
And to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Glory to the Father,
and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning.
is now, and will be forever.




1 Corinthians 15:35-44

But someone may say, "How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come back?" You fool! What you sow is not brought to life unless it dies.

And what you sow is not the body that is to be but a bare kernel of wheat, perhaps, or of some other kind; but God gives it a body as he chooses, and to each of the seeds its own body. Not all flesh is the same, but there is one kind for human beings, another kind of flesh for animals, another kind of flesh for birds, and another for fish.

There are both heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the brightness of the heavenly is one kind and that of the earthly another.

The brightness of the sun is one kind, the brightness of the moon another, and the brightness of the stars another. For star differs from star in brightness.

So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown corruptible; it is raised incorruptible.

It is sown dishonorable; it is raised glorious. It is sown weak; it is raised powerful.

It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual one.

If I ever come back to this world, I want to come back as an eagle so I can fly wherever I want…

If I ever were to be another person in this world, I would come back as…

As children and maybe even as adults, we often found ourselves in the game of ‘if I ever’, putting ourselves into other ‘wannabe’ lives or bodies, if you will. Yes, a bit selfish for adults, yet as children we could only let our minds be filled with so much of what black and white television had to offer—if that was our medium of choice.

Today, it’s just a little bit different. There are just way too many ways for a mind and body to be influenced. That list is too long to go into here. But as noted above, God gives us all a body as He chooses; along with that is the gift of free will. How that body and what’s in it mature and bear fruit is up to each of us. What we put into is often what we get out.

And just as He made the stars and the heavens different, He made us individuals with certain gifts, talents and purposes. Just as He did with the universe and put it all into order. Without the sun being the distance it is away from the earth, we would either burn up or freeze to death. Without the moon being on the axis as it is and where it is, the seas and oceans would flood the globe. The stars are in order for their purpose, too.

So it is for all of us. Following in the order of His will, His way. Though we may have been born into sin, we are all given a way to be born into grace. Though we are all born weak, are all given the gift of strength through salvation. And though we are all born into an earthly kingdom, we are all afforded the opportunity to share with Him and all the saints, a glorious and spiritual life in eternity through our own resurrection. All in His time, His order.



1 Peter 1:13-16

Therefore, gird up the loins of your mind, live soberly, and set your hopes completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Like obedient children, do not act in compliance with the desires of your former ignorance but, as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in every aspect of your conduct, for it is written, "Be holy because I am holy."

Gird up the loins of your mind? Wh… what? Oh wait, I get it. Or at least I think I do. It’s something to do with preparing yourself mentally for what’s to come. Maybe like studying for a test back in school?

Or maybe it’s more like getting one’s mind set on better things—prayer, service to others, love, forgiveness—than on those things that not so good, those things that would not look so good on a projection screen in a courtroom with your mom and dad sitting there. Like it says, setting our hopes “completely” on those graces that are ours upon the revelation of Jesus Christ. Not part-time or just at those times when we find it convenient; we are either with Him or we are not.

As such, we are all called to follow His will according to the plans He has for us. Obey the Commandments. Be obedient and follow The Word. Leave behind those things that kept us from Him, a life in our “former ignorance”, and put on the armor of His grace and holiness. What better way to assume a manner of living, a manner of thinking—girding the loins of the mind—than to be on a path toward holiness.

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